One of the most intriguing new labels this year has been Blendwerk. The imprint was created by two of the most talented up and coming producers coming out of Russia at the moment E-Spectro & Hells Kitchen. Each of the labels first four releases have been meticulously thought out and have certainly made their mark in the melodic electronica scene. The labels fifth and final release of 2013 is out this week and it features a great collaboration from the gentleman behind Inlab Recordings. French producers Willy Real and David Prap first appeared on Blendwerk with their remix of Michael A’s ‘Chemistry Flowers’ which was released in October. Blendwerk’s fifth release finds the duo delivering their first EP for the label entitled ‘The Thing In My Head’ which includes remixes from: E-Spectro and Luis M.
The title track is another intricately produced beauty from Willy and David. Big brooding bass stabs and crunchy electronics highlight the mix along with a drifting melancholic vibe that brings the track to a brief drop. Here a considerably more twisted lead gets introduced and it begins to weave its way through the tracks framework. The main drop features a tension filled growl and some very ominous electronics which bring the beats back nicely. The scattered melancholic themes go through further modulation over the second half and ultimately deliver one of the best melodic techno rides of the year. The lone remix is supplied by Blendwerk headman E-Spectro who has now appeared on his home imprint for the second time. His ‘The Thing In My Head’ interpretation strips things down just a touch and focuses on the gnarly bass stabs which modulation wonderfully at the foundation of the record. It’s a very menacing sounding interpretation to say the least which goes through a variety of cool themes throughout. There is some underlying melancholic beauty which begins to take shape after a drop of near (ok total) silence and proceeds to warp its way through the second half along with some grinding tones which provide a wicked climax. The cool thing here is that there are an abundance of interesting ideas which work their way in and out of the mix over the tracks nine minute duration. With a lot of records you can almost know or sense what is about to happen as you’re listening to it for the first time but E-Spectro always has a way of creating a unique and unexpected journey just like he’s done here.
The second original here ‘Data Traveller’ is equally impressive. It’s a much subtler and more emotive piece than ‘The Thing In My Head’ and it certainly delivers an interesting journey like its predecessor. A smooth and gently grinding underbelly lays down the foundation while a wealth of haunting electronics dance about through the relatively stripped back framework. The main break focuses on some grandiose keys which provide a wonderful moment of brightness before the dark foundation returns for a smooth and exhilarating second half. The lone remix of ‘Data Traveller’ is provided by Luis M who is making his first appearance on Blendwerk. I first heard about the London based Portuguese producer when he appeared on Stereo Paradise’s ‘Secret Reality Series’ Volume 1 which was released all the way back in February of 2012. Luis has since gone on to appear on Qilla, Micro Digital and Mindbox. For his ‘Data Traveller’ interpretation Luis has reworked the great melodic elements into a much smoother journey that exudes a wonderful warm and sense of emotion. It’s certainly the most progressive production on the release but it still maintains a cool melodic techno edge. The whole EP is an interesting listen from start to finish and you’d be hard pressed to find anything wrong with the release. The attention to detail by everyone involved here is truly exceptional. Highly recommended.